TEHRAN — The Iranian Tour Operators Association is making a proposal to resume tourist visas after months of suspension under strict government measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“Iranian visas are granted to medical tourists…and we have asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue the same permits to applicants from other tourist areas,” ISNA said on Monday, quoting Ebrahim Pourfaraj, who chairs the association.
“During a meeting with Seyyed Kazem Sajjadi, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Consular, Parliamentary and Expatriate Affairs, I was supposed to provide information and a reissue plan [tourist] visas,” he explained.
The veteran expert called on the government to issue tourist visas to international applicants who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “The Ministry of Health and the National Directorate for the Fight against Coronavirus can at least agree that international tourists who have received the [second dose of] the coronavirus vaccine would be allowed to enter Iran.
Last month, he lamented that continuing such a trend would result in more international tourism markets being lost than before. “Or at least they should make it clear so that we can respond appropriately to foreign businesses and tourists so that we don’t miss out on international tourism markets more than before.”
Pourfaraj believes that Iran’s reasonable tour prices should bring the boom in the country’s tourism sector back to the post-coronavirus era. “Attractive tour plans are also being prepared for those who wish to explore the historical attractions and natural wonders of the ancient country and wish to vacation here.”
Pourfaraj also expressed hope that international tour operators and companies that have been working with their Iranian counterparts for years will put Iran back on the road to global travel, given the facilities they can get at cheaper prices than in other countries.
Last November, the World Tourism Organization announced that international tourist arrivals to Iran fell by 72% in the first eight months of 2020 compared to 2019, highlighting the severe impact of COVID-19 as the main factor. .
Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ali-Asghar Mounesan warned in October that Iran’s cultural heritage and tourism would be in critical condition if the crises caused by the coronavirus outbreak were to continue. were continuing. Last August, Mounesan said Iranian tourism had suffered a loss of 12 trillion rials (about $2.85 billion) since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
Furthermore, the minister also noted that the coronavirus pandemic is not expected to completely halt travel. “Corona is a fact, but can the virus stop tourism? Certainly not. For us, the coronavirus is a new experience in crisis management that teaches tourism experts around the world how to deal with such a disaster, and fortunately governments are making it an opportunity for better planning. Smart and responsible travel should replace “do not travel” recommendations, the minister stressed, adding: “In our country, Corona has caused problems in the tourism industry and the worrying point is the continuation of this trend”.
“We are well aware of what the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control proclaims [the health protocols], therefore, as a proposal, we have formulated smart and responsible travel packages through the implementation of which we could have safe travels,” the Minister said. He has repeatedly announced that his ministry is in full coordination with the Ministry of Health for the strict implementation of health protocols at travel destinations, visitor centers and museums, among others, stressing that ” people’s health is our priority.”
The ancient land includes hundreds of historical sites such as bazaars, museums, mosques, bridges, bathhouses, madrasas, mausoleums, churches, towers and mansions, of which 24 are inscribed on the list UNESCO World Heritage. Under the Tourism Vision 2025 Plan, the country aims to increase the number of tourist arrivals from 4.8 million in 2014 to 20 million in 2025.